by Pale Pyramid
The Vintech 573 is a Neve like API 500 series pre amp . I bought it from Sweetwater for about $600 U.S. If your not familiar with the 500 series , you will need an API 500 series compliant rack to use it . The rack acts as a power supply with mic and line I/O . There are plenty of options for a Neve like pre amp . Several have the 3 band EQ in tandem . My decision came down to the format (API 500) and the price and reputation of the manufacturer .
Nice hardy , tuff build here . It's a bit spartan but still Neve esque . This is do to the color choices and the shape of the input select I think . I have only used Neve plugin emulations (UAD and WAVES) so I can't confirm it's authenticity . I'm not sure if those plugins emulate the pre section or just the EQ . It looks the part enough though .
The 573 has stepped input and a fully variable output . There are three plastic buttons housed between these knobs . They are white plastic but don't appear fragile or in a cheap way . You have a phantom , impedance and phase button . Centered to the right of these is a small Mic/Line switch . At the bottom of the pre is a HI-Z input . You access the Mic and Line I/O through the back of the API rack .
I have used this for bass , guitar and vocals . It sounds stellar on all three . It has a round but solid a focused bottom end so Bass is a no brainer . This would be my go to for bass . I'm certain a kick drum would love this pre .
It's not a mid forward pre but through my mic'd up tube amps and a good dynamic or ribbon guitar sounds present and detailed . When multi micing guitar I think it would be a great complimentary pre to something like a CAPI vp26 that has more mid presence .
Vocals . Great pre for my vocals . It's well known for this application . I've used condenser and ribbon and didn't feel the need to audition any other pre here . It pulls the bottom together and preserves the high end which seems to give the right amount of thickness i want to here . Not round or tubby but still meaty with a pleasant girth and the high end is articulate .
I would like to try some other Neve style pres or an actual Neve one day but It wouldn't be because i find this one to somehow not fit the role of what a Neve is suppose to be . More so out of curiosity .
I'm quite happy with the sound !
I'm a fan of the Vintech 573 . I may not know what I'm missing but hell , if this thing doesn't sound like a Neve it still is a great pre with it's own pleasant sound . In the 500 series this is somewhat in the middle price wise . If you can afford anything then $500 more will get you a new Neve 1073 pre . I imagine if you have that amount of scratch you know exactly how a Neve sounds and nothing other then it would satisfy your appetite . However you still might find the Vintech 573 to be a great sounding pre !
You will want it for - It's sound . It's build . It's Price .
You will pass on it for - You have less budget constraints then other musicians and engineers and can afford an actual Neve . The Neve sound is something you have no interest in when considering a pre . You don't own an API 500 series compliant rack .